This past Sunday evening at Calvary Independent Baptist Church we looked into Acts chapter 16 vs 15-30 where Paul and Silas (servants of the most high God) had been attacked by a mob, stripped of their clothes, beaten, jailed deep in the prison and even had their feet locked into ‘stocks’ to make sure they couldn’t get out. They knew not whether they’d be there for years or be crucified the next day. Yet, in the darkness of midnight, in a terrible prison of torment the Bible says “…Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them”! Vs 26 says suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately ALL [not some select few, not some pre-chosen] but ALL of the doors were opened, and “EVERY ONE’S bands were loosed”.If I had been there I’d sure have wanted that earthquake to deliver me from the mob, the beating, the jailer! But no, God didn’t send the earthquake to stop the mob! He didn’t send the earthquake to stop the beating! He didn’t send the earthquake to stop the jailer! Why? Why didn’t God deliver them from this angry mob, this shameful attack and the horrible beating? Why did God allow them to suffer so? Well, picture in your mind those helpless souls there in a dingy darkened prison. Picture the tears running down their faces as they strained to hear the praying and sweet words of those old hymns echoing in the darkness as Paul and Silas praised God, prayed and sang. The earthquake didn’t come until those desperate discouraged prisoners got to hear these men sing hymns to God!Could I just tell you that sometimes God needs His disciples {that’s you if you’re saved} to be faithful even in terrible and hopeless situations; so that the prisoners of the devil [2 Timothy 2:25-26] AND the prisoners of this hard life who face their own torments troubles trials and tribulations may draw strength courage and help in the sweet hour of prayer from your faith! Some are facing deep pits of despair. Others are facing physical infirmities or worse. Some face financial difficulties or family hardships or personal heartaches. There is someone close to you who has almost given up on God! Perhaps you are the only one in their life who is still praying, praising and singing God’s praise, still glorifying His name! How many I wonder are near you who desperately need to hear you sing! Who need you to remind them that our God is FAITHFUL and TRUE! Perhaps you are facing hardships not because of sin, but because God is trusting you to SING so that others in a dark prison cell can hear you! God help us be faithful no matter how dark the night seems. Has my Father not been a glorious God to you? Has He not done far more for you than you deserved? As His preacher I ask you the question from the old hymn “how long has it been, since you talked with the Lord”?  
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